South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

6.2.11 Adoption Case Records


Contents

  1. Opening an Adoption Case Record
  2. Contents
  3. Security and Retention of Records


1. Opening an Adoption Case Record

1.1 Children

An Adoption Case Record, both paper and electronic, for a child should be opened as soon as there is an adoption plan for the child i.e. once adoption has been identified as the permanence plan for the child at his or her Looked After Review or, where a child has been relinquished for adoption, as soon as the parent's request for adoption has been made. The Adoption Case Record is separate from the child's existing case record/file. When the child has been adopted and has new identification, including a Unique Pupil Number, an Adoption Case Record is to be opened with the child's new adoptive identity.

The child's Looked After case record should indicate that a separate Adoption Case Record exists and must not include information in relation to the new identity or address of the child or any information whereby the child's pre and post-adoption identity could be linked. Such information should only be contained on the Adoption Case Record. This principle applies to information kept in whatever form - electronic, hard copy or microfilm

Where the plan relates to a group of siblings, there must be a separate Adoption Case Record for each child.

1.2 Applicants to Adopt

An Adoption Case Record should also be opened for every prospective adopter as soon as a formal application has been received. In the case of a couple, a single case record can be set up for them both. This also applies to foster carers wishing to be considered as adopters.


2. Contents

2.1 Children

The child’s Adoption Case Record should contain the following information and documents:

  1. The child’s original birth certificate and birth details (time, weight, type of delivery etc);
  2. Description and details (including family tree) of the birth family and household set out in an Assessment or other relevant document;
  3. Photographs, certificates, other significant personal mementos and Life Story Book;
  4. Completed Neo-natal and obstetric reports;
  5. BAAF Form A (completed by birth parents);
  6. BAAF Development Assessment Forms or equivalent;
  7. The Child’s Permanence Report (paper file and SAN);
  8. The Prospective Adopter's Report and Adoption Placement Report; should only be placed on the adopters’ file;
  9. The Adoption Support Plan;
  10. The child’s profile, Matching Meeting minutes and any other documents prepared and presented for the matching decision;
  11. Record of social work with child about adoption, including recording of direct work. This should include the date of every contact, whether the child was seen, issued discussed, child's views, analysis and evaluation of the content of the report. This will provide a record to inform current actions and a record for the young person in later years;
  12. Details of siblings, together with any assessments and decisions to place brothers and sisters separately, including minutes of relevant meetings; Child's Permanence Report;
  13. All relevant minutes and the Agency Decision Maker (Adoption) decisions in relation to the child’s adoption plan and placement, including records of discussions held by the Agency Decision Maker. Copies of all notifications of agency decisions will be sent to birth parents and adopters;
  14. Looked After Review minutes and the Child's Care Plan from the point when adoption was identified as the plan;
  15. Assessments, correspondence and signed agreements relating to post-adoption contact;
  16. Any other key correspondence to and from members of the child’s birth family;
  17. Minutes from Placement Planning Meetings;
  18. Itemised List and copies of information supplied to child;
  19. Itemised List and copies of information supplied to adopters;
  20. Later Life letter/information from the birth parents to the child;
  21. Later Life letter from the social worker outlining the circumstances of the adoption plan;
  22. The Adoption Placement Plan and any amendments;
  23. Reports of visits to the child post-placement and records of any Adoption Review meetings. As previously stated, this should provide sufficient detail to inform current actions but also enable the young person in future years to make sense of his/her history;
  24. Court reports and other documents prepared for Placement Order applications (if applicable) and the adoption application;
  25. Copies of Care Orders (including Interim Care Orders);
  26. Copy of any Parental Consent to Adoptive Placement and Parental Consent to the adoption and/or a copy of the Placement Order;
  27. Copy of Adoption Order;
  28. Any recording relating to requests for access to birth records by the adopted person or access to the Adoption Case Record by any person; (this is not on the child's file, Requests for access to birth records by adopted persons only apply to adults over 18 years and start a new adult file record). See Access to Birth Records and Adoption Case Records Procedure;
  29. Any Veto - absolute or qualified - registered by the adopted person; (Adopted Adults File);
  30. Minutes of any Disruption Meetings (Child and adopters File).

It is essential that all case records reflect the supervisory process and comprehensive management overview. Records for adopted adults are currently only allowed to be put on the SAN and there is a problem.

2.2 Applicants to Adopt

  1. The prospective adopter's Adoption Case Record should contain all the information obtained about him or her in relation to the application for approval, including the Prospective Adopter's Report, photographs etc;
  2. All relevant checks;
  3. References;
  4. All relevant Panel minutes and the Agency Decision-Maker’s decisions in relation to the suitability of the adopters and the placement of the child with them;
  5. Assessments, correspondence and signed agreements relating to post-adoption contact;
  6. The Adoption Placement Report and Plan;
  7. Itemised List and copies of information supplied to adopters;
  8. Any other key correspondence;
  9. Reports of visits to the adopters.

Note: Where the Adoption Service places a child with an adopter or adopters approved by another adoption agency, an Adoption Case Record for the prospective adopters must still be set up and maintained in the Adoption Service.


3. Security and Retention of Records

Adoption Case Records must be stored in secure conditions. Paper records should be kept in locked cabinets.

In cases where an Adoption Order is made, children's Adoption Case Records will be retained for a minimum of 100 years after the Adoption Order is made. The Adoption Service Manager will first ensure that the Adoption Case Record is complete, and especially contains the 'Adoption Support Plan and Post-Adoption Contact Agreements.

Where an Adoption Order is not made, children's Adoption Case Records should be transferred back to the child's Looked After record. Any duplicated information should be shredded.

Where an Adoption Order is not made, the prospective adopter's Adoption Case Record should be retained for 50 years.

Adoption Records for Adopted Adults should not be sent to any other local authority or voluntary adoption agency.

Whenever it is necessary to send any part of an Adoption Case Record by post, either within or outside the Council, the information should be placed in a sealed plain envelope and marked 'PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL'. When the external post is necessary, then arrangements should be made for copies of relevant documents to be sent by recorded delivery

End